In 1961, Cuban artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) was forcibly relocated to the United States due to the uncertainty caused by Fidel Castro’s rise to power in her home nation. This began Mendieta’s life of exile. Focusing on the photographic series Silueta Works in Mexico (1973-1977), artist and scholar Genevieve Hyacinthe posits Mendieta as a “New World Artist” whose interests in the figure of the Black Venus, and other Black Atlantic forms metaphorically buoyed her to re-shape her experience of exile from a narrative of intractable trauma to artistic agency.
Presenting engaging discussions and conversations with artists, scholars, curators, and cultural producers on topics concerning contemporary art and visual culture in the Caribbean and its diasporas.
The CCI Forum welcomes unsolicited proposals of interviews, essays, and articles on topics related to contemporary art and intellectual histories of the Caribbean and its diasporas. Proposals should include a 200-word abstract, a 75-word bio, and a maximum of three images, if relevant.
Please send your proposal to email@example.com, including “Submission Proposal” in the subject line.
In this essay, Julián Sánchez González discusses three works by Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Belkis Ayón, and Purvis Young through the lens of shamanism as a cultural practice. By considering these artists’ spiritual interests, Sánchez González borrows from comparative religious studies and anthropology to open up new methodological avenues for art history. Examining the parallel visual strategies deployed in these works from PAMM’s collection, Sánchez González analyzes these artists’ interest in the otherworldly and supernatural as a way to supersede their immediate sociopolitical contexts and reflect on the contemporary human condition.
Based on research, an interview with the artist, and biographical information, this text presents a reading of Daniel Lind Ramos’s work in relationship to the historic events of the 1797 British invasion of Puerto Rico. The article highlights the importance of history, memory, syncretic practices, and Afro-Caribbean identity in Lind Ramos’s growing body of work which draws from the material economies of his home city of Loíza.
The masterful work of Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, 2021 Pérez Prize recipient, reflects on our shared modern condition while evoking memories of the past and ancestors that came before us. Images of Black people, histories, and experiences are represented through fragmentary reflections of the artist’s own autobiographical experiences that serve to rupture persistent visual and historical erasures. In this essay, Dr. Yanique Hume reflects on the ways in which the silences of the past become visible and memories become ritualized through Campos-Pons art practice. In exploring how she routinely centers Blackness, Dr. Hume argues that the work of Campos-Pons connects to the experiences of the hybridity that define the Black experience in the Americas.
This interview is part of an ongoing conversation between Claire Tancons and Ronald Cyrille, which began at the Tout-Monde Festival in Miami in March 2018. It was followed-up by a virtual visit on December 9, 2020, to his studio at the Mémorial ACTe (MACTe) in Guadeloupe during his residency there (November 2020 – March 2021) in partnership with the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s Caribbean Cultural Institute. The conversation will continue as Ronald is preparing for his upcoming exhibition Génésis: Mythologies individuelles.
Fascinated by the history of his native country, Viktor El-Saieh draws from the folklore, myths, traditions, and political leaders that shape Haitian culture. In this conversation, he speaks about his artistic beginnings, the development of his career, his relationship with Caribbean art, his interest in interrogating Haiti’s role in the Americas, and in defining his own as an artist.
Juan Carlos Alom is one of Cuba’s most notable experimental photographers and filmmakers. He explores the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of everyday life, highlighting often-overlooked aspects of Cuban culture through compelling imagery and non-linear, spontaneous visual narratives. Inspired by the aesthetics and tradition of the 1960s documentary cinema in Cuba, Alom’s oeuvre addresses Afro-Cuban traditions, spirituality and nature, and Caribbean diasporic experience from a poetic and metaphorical perspective.
An artist from the Bahamas, April Bey creates impactful and colorful works that address race, identity, feminism and popular culture through a multidisciplinary approach. Inspired by Afrosurrealism and Afrofuturism, Bey’s artistic practice explores the complexities of American and Bahamian cultures through a decolonizing perspective. She uses references from pop culture deliberately, leveraging them to illustrate her own personal mythologies.
Barbadian visual artist Ewan Atkinson discusses his creative process and the invisible microorganisms that inhabit the evolving fictional world, The Neighbourhood. This conversation developed in the context of a Caribbean Cultural Institute research trip to Barbados in March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic quarantine phase.